An added bonus: Greenlaw is already well-acquainted with Jets head coach Robert Saleh having worked with Saleh during his first two years in the league.
When Saleh was San Francisco's defensive coordinator back in 2019, he oversaw Greenlaw's development in his team's linebacker corps.
In Year 1, Greenlaw played in all 16 games and recorded 92 total tackles, two quarterback hits, one sack, and one interception, allowing a passer rating of 83.0 when targeted. After three years in San Francisco, Greenlaw could be reunited with Saleh on the Jets before the start of the 2022 season.
Bleacher Report's Alex Ballentine listed every NFL team's ideal offseason trade scenario and proposed that the Jets acquire Dre Greenlaw.
"As he heads into the final season of his rookie contract, Greenlaw's future with the Niners could be shaky. They just gave Fred Warner a massive extension and Azeez Al-Shaair proved he could be a replacement for Greenlaw. "- Alex Ballentine
NY Jets would receive 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw in "ideal" offseason trade
Whereas Greenlaw could be considered expendable on the 49ers, the third-year linebacker would be a desirable upgrade for New York.
Ballentine notes that C.J. Mosley, Jarrad Davis, and Hamsah Nasirildeen each received a PFF grade of less than 42.0 in 2021. While not the team's most pressing area for improvement, the Jets linebacker corps could certainly use reinforcements.
After recording 86-plus tackles in each of his first two seasons, Greenlaw only played in three games in 2021 due to a groin injury. Still, he made an immediate impact in Week 1 with a defensive touchdown after picking off Lions quarterback Jared Goff.
The Jets need game-changers in the defense like Greenlaw, and San Francisco may be willing to part with him this offseason given the right deal.
Despite Greenlaw's recent injury, we'd expect him to fit right in under Robert Saleh and Jeff Ulbrich as a starting-caliber linebacker capable of defending against the pass and the run.
Greenlaw won't come super cheap, but the Jets have money to spend and maybe a draft pick to spare. Investing in a young and talented player like Greenlaw could pay off as soon as the 2022 season and hopefully for many more years.